School musicians score outstanding achievement
Merryn Davies-Deacon, from Redruth, Nancy May, from Ruanhighlanes and Georgina Sherriff, from Truro, studied for the music performance diploma after successfully passing their Grade 8 exams with flying colours. Recognised by musicians around the world, the diplomas are professional qualifications and very few schools enter pupils for them. Notoriously demanding in terms of what they require candidates to do and rigorous in their marking schemes, the pass rate is generally low. Yet all three Truro High students passed – bringing the total number of girls who have done so at the school in the last couple of years to six.
The exam has three main elements – a thirty minute recital, twelve minutes answering questions about the performance and the programme notes submitted and a quick study which involves performing a previously unseen piece after just five minutes of preparation. Two external examiners adjudicate – one a specialist in the instrument chosen and the other a musical generalist.
Both Nancy and Merryn, who are in their final year of Sixth Form, were 16 when they took the exam, while Georgina was 17. Merryn, who has been provisionally accepted as a choral scholar at Queen’s College Oxford where she is hoping to study French and Linguistics, has passed Grade 8 piano and cello exams with merit and singing and theory with distinction. She chose the piano as her instrument for the diploma. Nancy, who wants to study music, achieved distinction in her Grade 8 singing and sang for her diploma qualification. Georgina, who is now at the Royal College of Music studying the organ, achieved Grade 8 piano with distinction and her organ and theory exams with merit. She chose the piano for the diploma.
“I’m so proud of all three girls,” said Frances Eagar, Truro High’s Director of Music, who also examines for the Associated Board. “They had to work really hard for the diploma and the fact that they have passed it whilst still at school is a real testament to their musical skills, their talent and their diligence.”
Caroline Pascoe, Headmistress of Truro High School, was equally delighted.
“Our pupils are extremely fortunate to have committed members of staff who are willing to provide them with exceptional opportunities to prove themselves like this. I congratulate everyone involved.”